The sustainable development goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to end poverty “in all its forms, everywhere”, while leaving no one behind. This ambition is central to Fairtrade’s mission.

It's time to get to work

There’s a lot of work to be done, and climate change threatens to reverse progress on all levels. It’s up to every one of us to take action to ensure the SDGs are achieved by 2030.

0 People live below the international poverty line
0 Children are still involved in child labour

What are the SDGs?

SDGs_global goals

The SDGs – adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 – are an ambitious set of 17 overarching global goals to combat poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030.

Covering topics from gender equality to climate change, and education to clean drinking water, they represent a powerful opportunity to improve the lives of the 1.3 billion small scale farmers and agricultural workers upon whom the world depends to produce our food and protect our planet.

It’s up to each of us to work towards these and with Fairtrade, it’s simple to contribute.

Fairtrade and the global sustainability goals

How does Fairtrade contribute to the SDGs?

Fairtrade’s work is contributing across the 17 Global Goals but the following six goals are the focal areas for Fairtrade.

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

This goal is central to Fairtrade’s mission. All of our work stems from this overarching goal, as we seek to ensure that trade enables smallholder farmers and workers to earn a decent living and have a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Small-scale farmers continue to provide a large percentage of the world’s population with food. That means creating robust livelihoods is crucial for achieving this goal. Fairtrade enables more secure and stable incomes for small-scale farmers and supports them to build strong, resilient businesses.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls


The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has identified that overcoming gender inequalities can reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 150 million. Fairtrade supports women to participate equally in agriculture, earn better wages and diversify their income and opportunities. Read more on our page addressing the gender gap.

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all


In line with the UN International Labour Organisation and national legislation, Fairtrade promotes better working conditions, supports workers to negotiate for better pay and is striving to achieve living wages for workers on Fairtrade plantations. Our standards prohibit child and forced labour and we work with young people, their communities, producer organisations and governments to enable them to tackle the root causes themselves.

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation


Fairtrade is committed to building transparent and traceable supply chains and working with partners to unleash dynamic and competitive economic forces that generate employment and income.

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns


Fairtrade is the leading ethical label worldwide. Through our campaigns and advocacy work, we bring together thousands of communities and millions of consumers worldwide to campaign for fairer trade. We are also developing markets in the South such as India, to enable the growing consumer base to make sustainable lifestyle choices.

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Small-scale farmers are already bearing the brunt of a changing climate. Fairtrade works with producer organisations and climate experts to build farmers’ resilience to climate shocks and stresses and thus be better equipped to adapt to, and mitigate their own impacts on global warming. Read more on our page addressing climate change.

Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Fairtrade focuses on building democracy from the ground up. Producers are equal owners of Fairtrade. From deciding on how to use their Fairtrade Premium, right up to determining global Fairtrade strategy, producers (including women, men, youth, migrants and people with disabilities) have a strong voice and are empowered to demand accountability of their organizations.

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development


Power imbalances in supply chains that favour companies over small-scale farmers in developing countries can be a barrier to implementing the SDGs. Fairtrade works with multiple partners – producer organisations, businesses, trade unions, civil society, governments and other multi-stakeholder bodies. Together we can support governments to build policies that enable fairer trade for all and which deliver on the SDGs’ ambitious agenda.

How can I support Fairtrade’s SDGs work?

You have the power to change the world every day by choosing to buy products – such as coffee, chocolate and tea – with the Fairtrade Mark. Look for the Fairtrade logo when you shop, and ensure better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in developing countries. Your choices can empower farmers to participate as equals, control their futures, and invest in their communities.


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